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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Guest Review: Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 D

It's been a while since we've had a guest review. I'm happy to present one today, by Chuck. He's taking a close look to the Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5D lens.



General

Hi, guest reviewer Chuck here. Today I'm taking a look at one of the lightest and smallest normal zooms Nikon ever produced: the AF Nikkor 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 D.

I sometimes think of this lens as the older, shorter brother of the Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 D that Chris reviewed over two years ago. Since both lenses have the same variable maximum aperture, you already know two things this one gives up in exchange for being lighter and more compact: 35mm of reach at the long end, and a bit of extra light in the middle range, say from 35mm to 70mm, where the longer lens has slightly wider max apertures.



Are the space and weight savings worth those sacrifices? As always, to use Chris's favorite turn of phrase, it's a matter of scope. (Read on to the conclusion to see what I think.)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Two Photographic Technologies to Check in 2018

Note: I am going through a very busy period, with a lot of personal & other obligations. The frequency of articles might suffer a bit for the next couple of months or so, but I expect to be back on a quasi-weekly form by Christmas. Thanks! 


First we had digital cameras. Then we had digital SLR cameras. Then we had digital SLR cameras with video. Things improved, with more megapixels, more ISO settings, faster fps, cleaner images, all for less and less money. Somewhere along the way we also began to have other kinds of technologies, such as mirrorless cameras that allowed for tricks not possible with an SLR.

Maldives don't have hills, so only a drone can give you this perspective.
(photo from the public domain)

Still, despite all the benefits of all these, the last great leap in the way we make photos was the emergence of the digital SLR - someone could argue rather convincingly that the digital camera overall (that is, even before the first digital SLR) was the last great leap forwards.

All the rest are great, and I'll take the Nikon D500 any day over the ancient Nikon D1. And yet, we need to admit that when all is said and done the D1 and the D500 take photos the exact same way. It's a bit like driving a BMW from the 1960s vs one from last year: the new one is more comfortable and has electric windows and airbags, but basically it's the same technology, with a same kind of engine, driving a shaft and moving the wheels.

Is there anything new coming in photographic technology?
Is there something that can change the way we're taking (at least some) pictures?
You bet.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reviewing the Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8

Note: I am going through a very busy period, with a lot of personal & other obligations. The frequency of articles might suffer a bit for the next couple of months or so, but I expect to be back on a quasi-weekly form by Christmas. Thanks! 



 General


I've reviewed several E Series lenses, and most of them are pretty good - you get a good optical quality for your money. Having said that, all of these lenses are manual focus (duh!), and won't meter on entry-level Nikons. So, what's their value in today's world? That sounds like an excessively philosophical question, so let's just see what the Nikon Series E has to offer, and take it from there.



Pros/Cons

+ cheap, simple, small, light, expendable. Just what you expect from a good traveling lens (more below).
+ optically no real-world complaints. It won't blow your mind, but no glaring flaws either.
+ f/2.8 at this price? I'll take it, sure.